Rick Keene Music Scene – Laura Fernandez is ‘Okay, Alright’ on The Album of the Year

When the soul sings, people should listen.

Laura Fernandez has created a vessel which sails into your heart and does not let go. If you start to sink – the lifeline is built in.

Laura Fernandez

Please listen below to my chat with Laura and hear some of the best music Laura has ‘downloaded’ so far in a very young career.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – A Tribute to Michael Fonfara

A child prodigy.

Once in a while, someone special arrives and reminds us all we are mere mortals.

MICHAEL FONFARA

Michael Fonfara was one of those people. A musician and person extraordinaire who by the sheer nature of his presence – elevated everyone around him to a surreal level.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio – Rhinoceros

The Everly Brothers, The Electric Flag, Rhinoceros, Lou Reed, Foreigner and Downchild. A few of the musical experiences obtained and relayed from the keys of Fonfara to the world’s musical ears.

Please listen below as friend and band-mate Gary Kendall of Downchild pays tribute to Michael Fonfara

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Fifty Years Of ALLIGATOR RECORDS; Streaming Concert March 13, 2021

Governors State University (GSU) Center for Performing Arts (the Center) will celebrate Chicago blues and Chicago-based Alligator Records’ 50th anniversary by presenting an online streaming video concert.

“Sweet Home Chicago – An Online Blues Celebration” will feature a performance by legendary harmonica player Billy Branch with his all-star band, The Sons Of Blues, with three special guests — Grammy-nominated vocalist Shemekia Copeland, slide guitar master Lil’ Ed Williams and beloved Chicago blues guitarist and songwriter Toronzo Cannon. Alligator Records founder and president Bruce Iglauer will serve as emcee.

The once-in-a-lifetime event will be recorded on the Center’s stage to its empty 1171 seat house. This concert is part of the Center’s 25th anniversary celebration. The show will debut as a ticketed streaming event at 7:00PM Central time on March 13, 2021, and will be available to watch on demand through April 11. The event will stream on the Center’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/GSUCenter.

Please listen below to a preview of the artists playing.

Throughout its 25-year history, many blues artists have graced the Center for Performing Arts’ stage: Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Eddie Clearwater, Jimmy Burn, Eddie Shaw, Zora Young, Demetria Taylor, Jamiah Rogers, Tail Dragger, Billy Branch, Howard Levy, Sugar Blue, Corky Sigel, Melody Angel, Lurrie Bell, Chicago Ladies Sing the Blues collective, and more.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – ALLIGATOR RECORDS JOINS FORCES WITH EXCELERATION MUSIC

Partnership Between Legendary Blues/Roots Label And Exceleration Music To Create Global Growth Opportunities

Alligator Records, the acclaimed independent blues and roots label currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, has announced it is joining forces with Exceleration Music. Exceleration Music is a newly established company founded by Glen Barros(former CEO of Concord Music Group) along with four other world-renowned industry veterans, dedicated to enhancing the future of independent labels and artists.

Alligator founder Bruce Iglauer’s partnership with Exceleration will strengthen the label by creating opportunities for expanded promotion and marketing along with providing resources enabling Alligator to sign more established blues and roots artists. Iglauer remains at Alligator’s helm, just as he has been for the last 50 years. He and his Chicago-based team will continue to handle artist signings, A&R, new release production, project marketing, publicity, and promotion for an aggressive lineup of new recordings by the label’s existing roster as well as by newly-signed artists. Alligator will also continue to market and promote its catalog of over 350 releases. Exceleration will handle financial, operational, and administrative functions for the label. Both partners will also collaborate on marketing initiatives designed to build on Alligator’s great legacy. 

According to Iglauer, “I’m very excited to ally Alligator with Exceleration. I have tremendous respect for the vision, intelligence, industry expertise and professional ethics of the Exceleration team. I’m confident that this partnership will grow the worldwide audience for Alligator’s records and artists. It’s a win-win for all of us.”

In addition to its partnership with Alligator, Exceleration has also entered into an alliance with The Ray Charles Foundation, by which they will jointly issue special releases from the Ray Charles vaults, most of which have not been widely available on digital music services for the past decade. In January 2020, Exceleration acquired the venerable but mostly dormant jazz label Candid Records, with plans to relaunch the label later in 2021.

Exceleration Music was formed by five of the independent music industry’s most influential executives. Started by Glen Barros (former CEO of Concord Music Group), Exceleration Music has developed into a partnership of global music industry leaders who will be investing in the future of independent labels from a wide range of culturally important genres. In addition to Barros, Exceleration is led by Dave Hansen (Executive Chairman of Merlin, the digital licensing partner for independents, and previous GM of Epitaph Records), Charles Caldas (CEO of Merlin for 12 years, during which time the organization grew to over 20,000 independent label and distributor members), Amy Dietz (previously GM of independent music distribution leader Ingrooves)andJohn Burk (Grammy-winning producer and former President of Concord Records).

Backed by substantial investment capital and based on core founding values of integrity, fairness, openness, humility and excellence, Exceleration plans to leverage its partners’ extensive expertise and deep understanding of the independent music culture to make tailored investments in independent music rights and the individuals that create them.

According to Barros, “When I started the company, I decided to go with a ‘first who, then what’ strategy. With our industry becoming more and more commoditized, I wanted to put people first – people who care about independent music and share similar values. Quite frankly, I am completely amazed and truly blessed by how this strategy has developed. To have partners like John, Amy, Charles and Dave is truly a dream come true.  But it goes beyond this, to the great investors we’re working with, the team we’re assembling, our professional advisors, and now the opportunity to work with Bruce Iglauer at Alligator Records. With a dedicated group like this, I know we’re going to do great things for the indie community and have a lot of fun along the way.”

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Unmasking New Music and Information You Need To Know

Art is therapy. Music is art.

During these times of uncertainty and isolation. An era where misleading headlines are filled with one-sided fear, common sense and education are needed. Relaxation and time away from information is essential.

MICHAEL FONFARA

Research shows the benefits of music therapy for various mental health conditions, including depression, trauma, and schizophrenia (to name a few). Music acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief—but music can also be utilized as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety or for dysregulation.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Please listen below to some new songs, the best music to calm your soul and ease your mind. Learn some stuff too!

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Coping with Curfew; Music for Mental Health. Part Two

Art is therapy. Music is art.

During these times of uncertainty and isolation. An era where misleading headlines and news stories filled with one -sided inaccurate fear are creating mental health problems – common sense and education are needed. Relaxation and time away from information is essential.

Photo by Luan Oosthuizen on Pexels.com

Research shows the benefits of music therapy for various mental health conditions, including depression, trauma, and schizophrenia (to name a few). Music acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief—but music can also be utilized as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety or for dysregulation.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Please listen below to Part Two of the best music to calm your soul and ease your mind.

 Mental Health Information and Contact

Visit Jesse Protected.com Here

George Thorogood says; Help Rick Support Musicians and Donate Here

Rick Keene Music Scene – Coping with Curfew; Music for Mental Health

Art is therapy. Music is art.

During these times of uncertainty and isolation. An era where misleading headlines and news stories filled with one -sided inaccurate fear are creating mental health problems – common sense and education are needed. Relaxation and time away from information is essential.

Photo by Luan Oosthuizen on Pexels.com

Research shows the benefits of music therapy for various mental health conditions, including depression, trauma, and schizophrenia (to name a few). Music acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief—but music can also be utilized as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety or for dysregulation.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Please listen below to Part One of the best music to calm your soul and ease your mind.

 Mental Health Information and Contact

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George Thorogood says; Help Rick Support Musicians and Donate Here

Rick Keene Music Scene – Ten Songs That Influenced The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards

The human riff started somewhere.

Keith Richards is known as the man who will not die. Years of excess have not killed the man. One thing hardly mentioned however – Keith Richards’ riffs and songs will also never die.

The most prolific songwriting guitar player in Rock n Roll and perhaps all music history is schooled in music. Jazz, Country, Blues – Keith Richards (and The Stones) have been there done that.

Please listen below to TEN of Keith Richards’ biggest musical influences. The framework for the human riff.

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – New Tunes From The Guess Who, Styx, Displaced Pieces and Sass Jordan

What is with older music fans living in the past?

In any profession, the more experience you have – the more you are sought out. Sadly, unless people want to hear the early songs of an experienced musician, the new tunes go unnoticed.

Have a listen below to a couple of new Bluesy tunes and some songs that classic rock radio should be playing but do not.

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Linus Entertainment Acquires Borealis Records Catalog

Acclaimed Canadian folk label achieved success with Stan Rogers, Le Vent Du Nord, La Bottine Souriante, Michael Jerome Browne, Ron Hynes, The Fugitives, & Oliver Schroer among many others.

After 25 years of proudly putting out some of the best Canadian folk and roots music, the principles of Borealis Records Grit Laskin and Bill Garrett – have announced that as of January 1, 2021 the Borealis catalog will shift to the management of Linus Entertainment, a leading Canadian rights management company whose portfolio of labels includes True North Records, Stony Plain Records, The Children’s Group, and Solid Gold Records.

In a joint statement, Laskin and Garrett said of the transition, “We have partnered with Linus Entertainment for some 13 years in distribution and they have been our partners in the best sense.”

Geoff Kulawick, President and CEO of Linus Entertainment, said of the transition, “It has been a joy to work with Grit and Bill and their wonderful artists.  Taking on the responsibility of managing the Borealis catalog, which includes many ever-green musical gems of Canadian culture and folklore was a natural fit as we know the music well, so transition for the artists and our global distribution partners will be seamless.”

Laskin and Garrett continued, “We have been most fortunate in being able to work with a large number of very fine artists over the years. Their music has been a constant source of inspiration and the friendships made will be life-long.   Although we leave the business of running a record company behind we by no means will be leaving music.”

 

Grit Laskin continues to craft some of the best acoustic guitars made anywhere and Bill Garrett is in demand as a producer.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – The Beatles’ Long and Winding History of ‘Borrowing’ Music

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”- Oscar Wilde.

If the above statement is true; The Beatles were not ‘the greatest’. So who was then?

Please listen below to some songs (or riffs) The Beatles were accused of ‘borrowing’.

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